Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
2005-09-20 12:20
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Rockies lose, 8-7, on the strength of two homers from the unlikely source of Khalil Greene. The Rockies had 15 hits, 14 singles. That's not very good. They did outwalk the Padres and tied them in strikeouts, so there's that. Two more wins needed still to guarantee a loss total in double digits.

I just wanted to post real quickly at this late hour to register my displeasure over ESPN Radio's firing of overnight host Todd Wright. I've listened to Wright since I was in high school and found him to be one of the few distinctive personalities in the bland world of national sports radio. Some of Wright's bits were tiresome (his interviews with various starlets, Maxim models, and beauty pageant winners were excruciating) but he had a good sense for finding athletes to bring on as regulars, from Joe Randa to Barry Zito to the Colts' Larry Tripplett, who were bright guys and good speakers with interests outside of their chosen games besides huntin' and fishin'.

Wright's real talent was for finding a way to incorporate listeners into the show while not fielding cold calls, always death for sports radio. He read e-mails, ran contests, and let a few trusted callers whom he knew wouldn't embarrass him or his audience on the air. He also forced ESPN personalities out of their comfort zones and enticed them to show a little, well, personality. His signature segments were usually a little oddball, but always entertaining -- my favorite being "Know Your Major Leaguers," where he'd comb through the box scores looking for obscure injury replacement callups and and intersperse their names with another random sampling (often arena football rosters), usually befuddling callers and listeners alike.

I guess one fringe benefit of Wright's being ousted for the utterly inoffensive Jason Smith is I'll be getting a lot more sleep. Still, I imagine that I will be referring to Tennessee's NFL franchise with the accent on the second syllable (ti-TANS) until my dying day. Thanks for that, Todd.

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